Meet Alexandra, another of our trustees, who reflects on the charity's impact on her life
Why did you choose Field Lane as the charity you wanted to get involved with?
I joined the Field Lane Board of Trustees in 2018 and I sit on the Quality and Development Committee. I’d recently moved to the UK and wanted to do something to support the citizens of my newly adopted country. Originally from Ottawa, Canada, I’d lived in Geneva for three years but felt that I wanted to move to the UK, specifically to London. I was lucky to get the opportunity with Mercy Corps, a US-based development and humanitarian organisation, to move to the UK.
When I met Peter, Field Lane’s CEO and the rest of the board I was impressed not only by the work, but also that it was an old, established charity, still living its original Christian values. As well as offering my own skills and time, I knew I would learn a lot in an area of social care in which I had little experience. More broadly, as a new citizen in the UK, being a trustee has really helped me to understand governance structures and the role of charities in providing state funded care and support.
What has surprised you most?
The most striking thing is the staff. It is clear from their passion and dedication that what they do is more than a job, it is a vocation. It is incredibly challenging work and yet they stay calm, focused, and professional. They treat each other like family, providing support for each other as well as the clients.
What do you wish other people knew?
The extend of the care and support we give, not just to clients but to their whole family too, is extraordinary. Field Land provides a whole community support system – to staff, clients, and families. It has a genuine people-centred approach. This was evident during the pandemic, which highlighted the humanity that is a fundamental part of our organisation. Our staff rose to the challenge, quickly and creatively adapting practices to ensure clients were safe and continued to be stimulated and well cared for.
For the clients, the passion that is evident within Field Lane manifests itself in enabling them to live their best lives, giving them choices and the opportunity to live independently. Being given their own space and being able to choose how they live, even down to what colour paint they want for their bedroom, is so important to enabling our clients to live independently.
What is your hope for the future of the Field Lane?
I want the Field Lane model of social care to be adapted by others both in the UK and internationally. We can lead the way in showing that all people with learning disabilities can lead independent lives and enjoy their own communities. Being involved with Field Lane has given me cause to reflect on my own life, it has been a real inspiration.